Operator Kelah Handley answers calls at Sandy Springs’ 911 dispatch center. The City Council has adopted fines for alarm companies that fail to produce evidence within 24 hours that a call to police was legitimate. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

Sandy Springs tweaks false alarm law

Continuing to tweak its false alarm ordinance, the Sandy Springs City Council has adopted fines for alarm companies that claim to have evidence to verify a call to police dispatch, but then fail to provide that evidence to the city.

The council approved an ordinance and a resolution implementing the changes.

According to a memo by City Attorney Dan Lee, the ordinance clarifies the definition of false verification to include failure to provide video or audio verification within 24 hours of a request for dispatch. The resolution establishes fees for false verification of an intrusion alarm of $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense and $1,000 for the third and each subsequent offense.

When its false alarm ordinance took effect in June, Sandy Springs was the first city in Georgia to say it would not respond to home and business burglary alarms without video, audio or in-person verification of a crime in progress. Of 8,000 alarm calls to the city last year, 99 percent were false, police have said.

The law also included steep fines for alarm companies that repeatedly report false alarms. It is being challenged in court by several alarm firms.

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